Halfway through already? It seems like yesterday that I was in the Newcomb office at Tulane preparing for the internship with other Tulane students. At Transition Projects, I have moved on to many different projects. From creating a volunteer and donor database to help planning the logistics of their main homeless veterans event (Stand Down PDX), I have had an amazing time working for an organization that helps the community in so many ways. As my time here has gone by, I think my learning goals have shifted slightly. Before, my goals were broad, such as “learn about how nonprofits function” or “research the homelessness demographic” in Portland. As I have worked on different projects, my goals have narrowed. I want to know about how specific programs function and the demographics of specific populations, such as domestic abuse survivors and teen runaways. The internship has narrowed my interests from the broad non-profit realm to specific social justice issues.
In terms of monitoring this growth, I think I see my growth every time I come to work. The projects that I have done are an easy way to monitor the amount of work I am doing. Seeing the databases grow with donations and volunteers is especially rewarding. I think there is more to it than that though. My supervisors trust me to tackle larger projects and work independently. Moreover, as I mentioned before, I think tailoring my interests is extremely beneficial and a big step for me. I am the type of person who can find anything and everything interesting, so to find issues that I am truly passionate about is very special to me.
This internship is also the first internship that I have worked on that is actually female dominated. Working at the Department of Energy Bonneville Power Administration, I was constantly in male-dominated meetings and boards. This internship made me realize that there are female-dominated opportunities that are doing great work for the community. It reminded me that you can be a female leader in any area of work.
From this internship, I have gained a plethora of skills. I know how to use a number of applications for non-profits (Volgistics, Donor Perfect, etc.), as well as having a better handle of scheduling on Outlook. I have attended meeting, organized volunteers, and worked with a variety of professionals, giving me the opportunity to see how each position works. I am very grateful for this opportunity and especially for the beautiful view of Portland from the office!